CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 16, 2015 – Southeast Missouri State University senior Austin Cordell of Chesterfield, Missouri, has been named the recipient of The Delta Chi Education Foundation’s 2015 Borelli Family Leadership Award.
“When I got the call from Delta Chi’s International Headquarters informing me that I had received the Borelli Family Leadership Award, I was extremely appreciative,” Cordell said.
The award was established in 1982 by past “AA” (International President) and “AA” Emeritus, Raymond F. Borelli, Illinois 1958, and his son Mark R. Borelli, Illinois 1981, in honor of the memory of Pamela Anne Borelli, beloved daughter and sister, and Mrs. Patricia Ann Borelli, beloved wife and mother. The prestigious Borelli Family Leadership Award is bestowed upon undergraduate Delta Chis who excel academically and exercise unparalleled leadership traits within their chapters and campuses.
The achievement may be awarded to up to 25 men each year, and up to three of those may be named “with distinction.”
Each Delta Chi selected receives a framed certificate in recognition of the honor, and brothers selected “with distinction” receive an additional monetary reward. Five men received the award this year, but Cordell, an accounting and criminal justice double major at Southeast, was the only recipient to be named with distinction.
“When I was informed that I was the only undergraduate to receive the award ‘with distinction,’ I was absolutely floored,” Cordell said. “There are so many outstanding Delta Chi undergraduates in the U.S. and Canada who are doing remarkable things, and to be told that International Headquarters thought that I was one of them was a very impactful moment for me.”
Eligible candidates must have held leadership roles in both their chapter or colony and in some capacity on campus with at least one other organization. Each candidate must have maintained a cumulative 3.0 grade point average and properly submitted all application materials to the Delta Chi Educational Foundation Program Committee.
“I have to say that I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by some really exceptional people during the last three-plus years. I believe that this award is just as much a testament to the great mentorship that I have enjoyed at Southeast as it is anything that I have done personally,” Cordell said. “Whether it was A.J. Collins, who took me under his wing and showed me just how much one student can make a difference on a University campus, Dr. Bruce Skinner, who was always there for me if I needed guidance or advice on anything going on with student organizations or life as a student, or my parents and brother, who instilled a very strong sense of servant-leadership in me and were always there to show their love and support, I have always had a very solid team behind me to push me a little bit further every day.
“It is always great to be recognized for your accomplishments, but I believe it is also extremely important to keep moving forward with your ambitions, and that is what I plan to do,” he said.
This past summer, Cordell interned with AutoZone’s headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, where his responsibilities focused mainly in the treasury and risk management departments. He interned with the United States Marshals Service in summer 2014.
Cordell says he would love to work in a federal law enforcement capacity down the road.
Cordell is the student representative on the Southeast Board of Regents and a member of the University’s Honors College, where he has been named to the Dean’s List every semester since he enrolled at Southeast in 2012.
Cordell has received several awards as a Southeast student, including the Greek Life New Member of the Year, Greek Life Sophomore of the Year, and the Residence Hall Association First-Year Student of the Year. He is a member of Presidential Ambassadors and the Delta Chi fraternity and has served as co-associate member counselor and Recruitment Committee chairman.
“Delta Chi has meant the world to me throughout my college years,” Cordell said. “As a first semester freshman, I chose to get involved in Delta Chi, the Student Government Association, the Residence Hall Association, and the Criminal Justice Association right off the bat, and I have not slowed down since then. Admittedly, I am the kind of person that thrives by being kept very busy, but there are certainly trade-offs that are associated with that.
“Compounded with taking 15, 18, or sometimes 21 credit hours in a semester, life gets very stressful for me at times,” he added. “When I am extremely busy and have a lot going on, my Brothers are the ones that can just sense it when I walk in the room. In those instances, usually one of two things happens: either they figure out what is going on and help me out any way they can, or they make me take a step back, get out of ‘business mode,’ and make me watch a hockey game, or go play Frisbee, or really just take a break from whatever I had going on. Having a group of people that knows you better than you know yourself sometimes is a very powerful force. They are always looking out for me, just like I am always looking out for them.
“I have been very lucky to have been immersed in a group of people that is extremely close with one another and loves each other unconditionally,” he said. “I know they are proud of me, and they also know that I am very proud of them and all of the wonderful things that they are engaged in. We truly have what we call, ‘the Brotherhood of a lifetime,’ and I look forward to enjoying that for the rest of my years.”
While at Southeast, Cordell has served on several University committees, including Funding for Results, Food Service Review, Employee Recognition Awards Selection, Academic Advising, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, and Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). He has served as vice president of internal affairs and chief justice of the Judicial Board within the Interfraternity Council, an Opening Week leader, and a student in the President’s Leadership Academy.
Cordell is a graduate of the North-American Interfraternity Conference Futures Quest Leadership Summit, the Governor’s Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values, and was named the Most Outstanding Explorer at the Greater St. Louis Area Law Enforcement Exploring Academy.